EBB846W is the Incident Command Unit of the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade which came 'Off the run' in September 2002 and carried the call sign of A(0)7. It is based on a Dennis Dominator bus chassis with the body supplied by Angloco in 1980. The chassis was originally conceived for double deck bus applications but also did appear in single deck configuration. It is fitted with a 6 cylinder Gardner engine with a Voith Gearbox driving through a Dennis differential.
It was ordered at a time when provision for a nuclear war still had to be catered for. The intention was that it should drive off into the hills and direct the emergency services from the relative safety of the country side. It therefore carried extensive communications equipment which changed dramatically during the telecommunications revolution of the 1990's. Originally connection to the PSTN (Post Office Switched Telephone Network) was through landlines. A lift up panel on the exterior of the body reveals rows of bakelite and brass screw down terminals for line connection. Telephone cable reels are kept in inside lockers to make the connection from the ICU to the landline connection point. In later years a switch was made to cellular radio-telephones.
The vehicle electrical system is spectacular and comprehensive. There are two 800Ah Ni-Cad battery packs. The first is for vehicle systems such as engine starting and interior lighting and the second is to supply the radio equipment. There are 4 radio consoles/desks with a mix of VHF and UHF FM equipment. In addition there are 3 further Brigade radio sets and an AM unit for interoperability with the County Durham and Northumberland Fire Brigades. A roof mounted loudhailer may be used for fire-ground announcements. Both battery packs may be charged from an internal key start diesel generator with an output of 10KW at 230 volts. This generator provides a full 230 volt AC ring main throughout the vehicle.
The interior is divided into 3 sections . The front section entered through traditional bus type folding doors. The driver and second crew members seats are immediately to the front. An entrance door to the right leads into the command and control section of the ICU. The radio consoles are positioned 2 either side of the central aisle. A sliding window on the nearside is used to pass the appliance nominal roll tallies through to the nominal roll tally board kept on the ICU. The final section of the vehicle is accessed through a sliding door which is a multi-purpose area. It has a central table with bench seats and may be used as a conference area or as a relaxation area. It is fitted with a coffee machine, cooker/stove, hot water heater and plumbed in drinking water from a 75 gallon tank. located below the floor. Heating is provided by 2 3KW fan heaters and cooling by a roof pod mounted air-conditioning unit.
A07 attended all incidents when 12 or more appliances were in attendance. During her 22 year operational life less than 35,000 miles were covered from her home station at West Denton. The replacement appliance was again another Dennis, but based on the Dennis Dart SLF bus chassis.